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  1. #1
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    2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?

    I know that the 7 is going to be better - but why? As a relatively new-ish rider to MTBing, I'm curious what the difference will be based on the spec of each?

    I get that the EX 7 has Fox suspension, but getting into the nitty-gritty stuff - what will I be feeling? At an almost $600 difference, I'm trying to justify the $ increase for the 7. I just don't know enough about bike tech. I got on a EX5 and cruised the parking lot a week ago, but the shop didn't have a built EX 7 for comparison. I don't even know that I'd be able to tell the difference between the two either (b/c I'm still new).

    Help me out? FWIW, this will be my first FS "real" mtb.

    For your convenience, EX 5 and 7 pages below:

    Fuel EX 5 29 - Trek Bicycle

    Fuel EX 7 29 - Trek Bicycle

  2. #2
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    In my opinion think the fork alone justifies the ex7. While it doesn't justify the full 700 dollar price diffrence The fox fork being an air spring is going to be easier to setup and tune, than the ex5 which has a coil xc32. The ex7 also has the nicer drivetrain. Also the ex7 has the drcv shock, which in the rear of the bike does make for a bottemless feel, atleast that is how i felt when i test road i think it was the ex9.8.

  3. #3
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    So it sounds like the EX 7 will be more plush and easier to maintain? The rep I've been talking w/ mentioned that the EX 7 will generally take more of a beating than the EX 5.

    What about the other components? The only other major thing I can think of is brakes? I'm not worried as much about saddle, handlebars, etc...

  4. #4
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    Re: 2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?

    You Can't add iscg tabs to a 5 if you are interested in having a chain guide or retention type system, the frame is not equipped with them, and that is actually something I became interested in after some time on rougher more technical trails.
    The fork is a good upgrade, but it is more difficult to add other things later, so spec and equipment are secondary to built on features.
    The rear shock is a good point, as it is a proprietary fit and will be difficult to upgrade. The c t d designations suit the fuel well, I haven't had too much trouble setting my ex8 up and having a good ride quickly.

    Another point I will add, is to have a look at the ex8 if you are on the fence. I know it sounds silly to keep adding more while you're asking about the upgrades being worthy of $600, but I have seen many ex8s sell for prices around the ex7, and it comes with a good deal of additional upgrades including the 12x142 axle kit which is costly if I recall correctly. A local shop is only asking for a hundred and change more for the ex8 over the 7, and you get upgraded slx brakes, derailleurs and shifters and the aforementioned axle kit. I was between the two, and made the jump to the 8 as the axle alone won't require a new wheel/hub or parts, and I believe the ex7 hubs are not convertible easily to the larger axle, but I may be mistaken. I believe I have read on here somewhere that the kit costs $150 without a compatible hub/wheel, which is the equivalent to the price differential alone, let alone the xt and slx parts like brakes and derailleurs as well.
    I understand that the upgrades and increases can all be explained that way, and where really do you stop, but the small gap in price plus all the parts you get additionally made sense to me to skip the ex7 and go straight to the 8. In the future, as you get more willing to upgrade and or ride harder, that 12x142 axle is a standard you will likely want to have.

    To cover the ex 5 more in depth, we have a few bikes here, and one was actually equipped with a rockshox coil fork and SRAM x5 stuff. The fork was always jittery and had some odd behavior. You will quickly grow out of it in my opinion, even on lightweight xc rides. It is a good bike of course, but if you plan to ride it regularly I feel like it would be easy to tire of the fork, as well as the SRAM x5 hardware like shifters. The few bikes I have had with x5 were good bikes, but I have had to replace most of it as it would either lose adjustment or just start to feel a bit worn quite quickly. If you are willing to spend the extra, you won't be disappointed I am sure.
    To tell the differences between the bikes, pay attention to how smooth and responsive the shifts are. There's nothing wrong with the x5 or deore stuff, but the improvement is generally easy to feel to x7 or shimano slx and above pretty easily.
    The suspension should be very easy to feel the difference if you can ride through some grass etc, primarily with tree roots or some rippled ground. The higher end suspension will keep the bike feeling more controlled and ultimately take up the bumps while feeling much smoother, as well as offering a substantial amount of increased adjustability which you will likely want to tinker with to adjust the feel of the bike for your needs. Try the fox in the multiple modes as well, while standing and sprinting on the bike. You may find you really appreciate the climb/trail/descend feature when you feel how much the bike can soak up the power you put down. I tend to use the trail setting predominantly, with a good bit of descend for comfort or rough rocky sections. I never feel I need the climb setting, but it does firm up substantially and gives a more direct, hardtail feel to the acceleration of the bike if you're looking for that. My apologies for the massive post as well! Don't forget to ask the dealer about the tubeless rim setup if you end up with an ex7 or above, if you're interested in running a tubeless system, they may throw it in as the strips and valves are relatively inexpensive.
    10 Gary Fisher Cobia - 13 Trek Madone 5.2 - 14 Trek Fuel Ex8

  5. #5
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    What sort of budget do you have to work with? I think 722ish makes a great point for moving up to the ex8, as one of the first things i looked for was whether or not the ex7 came with a 142x12mm through axle.

    I also agree with him on the sram x-5 that comes on the ex5 as i have used the sram x-4 for a few years till i upgraded to sram x-9 and it makes a world of diffrence in speed of shifting and smoothness.

  6. #6
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    2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?

    722ish---I understand that the upgrades and increases can all be explained that way, and where really do you stop, but the small gap in price plus all the parts you get additionally made sense to me to skip the ex7 and go straight to the 8. In the future, as you get more willing to upgrade and or ride harder, that 12x142 axle is a standard you will likely want to have.

    Not sure if you meant that the 8 has the 12x142 rear axle and the 7 doesn't but the 7 does come with the 12x142 axle. I couldn't agree more with your whole post about skipping the 7 and going to the 8. The upgrades are well worth it. The front fork that comes on the 5 is the same one on my mamba and it sucks big time.


    Bikes I currently have. 2014 Trek Fuel EX 8 29er. 2013 Trek Mamba 29er.

  7. #7
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    Re: 2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?



    It is possible to add the 12x142 kit to an ex7 but it is not a standard feature. I heard some were shipping with it for a period of time as there was a shortage of parts but otherwise it was not a standard feature, even when I purchased my ex8 29 during the initial release week. The 7s in stores I have all seen have a red cap indicating the 10mm skewer and the non 12x142 system. I read both sheets repeatedly before I ordered and that was the determining factor. I have attached the photos directly from screen crops off the trek website of the wheel description as well. If the rear axle has that red cap however, it is not the 12mm through axle. Hope that clears up what I meant!


    I meant to add also, if you have trouble with the xc32 forks, I believe there is a damper from the argyle fork which is a 32mm chromoly stanchion build as well that is an improvement for the tora coil and xc32 type forks. I am not certain but I have seen that information here on mtbr fwiw.
    10 Gary Fisher Cobia - 13 Trek Madone 5.2 - 14 Trek Fuel Ex8

  8. #8
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    2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?

    If you zoom in on the seat stay on the 7 it says 12x142., and the fuel 7 at my LBS that I seen today says the same. So I don't know what else to say. Inconsistency.


    Bikes I currently have. 2014 Trek Fuel EX 8 29er. 2013 Trek Mamba 29er.

  9. #9
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    Re: 2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robg68 View Post
    If you zoom in on the seat stay on the 7 it says 12x142., and the fuel 7 at my LBS that I seen today says the same. So I don't know what else to say. Inconsistency.


    Bikes I currently have. 2014 Trek Fuel EX 8 29er. 2013 Trek Mamba 29er.
    Correct, it says 142x12 convert. I believe the ex5 does as well, I believe it does indicate the ability for the frame to have the conversion done. The remedy 7 also doesn't come with it, and also has it printed on the seatstay as well.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
    10 Gary Fisher Cobia - 13 Trek Madone 5.2 - 14 Trek Fuel Ex8

  10. #10
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    Re: 2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?



    http://www.bikerumor.com/2011/02/07/...-the-big-idea/

    Here is a link to see the differences in photos and some text. I meant to add it earlier, I apologize for all the replies.
    10 Gary Fisher Cobia - 13 Trek Madone 5.2 - 14 Trek Fuel Ex8

  11. #11
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    Also if you compare the 8 and the 7 you will notice that the 8 has a little picture and it says 142x12 but the 7 doesn't

  12. #12
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    2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?

    If the 7 doesn't have the 12x142 but is stamped with it on the seat stay that is just stupid. I'm gonna have to get back to my LBS again this week and verify.


    Bikes I currently have. 2014 Trek Fuel EX 8 29er. 2013 Trek Mamba 29er.

  13. #13
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    Bear99 the other big part of this is that the EX 7 comes with Tubeless ready wheels. Here in Arizona Tubeless is really the only way to ride mountain without getting flats all the dang time. It also improves the control and traction when riding. An aftermarket tubeless wheel set is going to run you $500-600 if you do a stans set or something like that and in my opinion the bontrager setup is a much better option. The way the tubeless sets up with their proprietary rim strips and tires works better than any of the others I have worked with.

    I would agree with all the other things that have been suggested by the others in the thread. The Fuel EX 7 29 is the lowest model I would suggest for anyone wanting to have a bike that can grow with them. It has a great part spec for the price.

    Good luck on your decision. Either way I know you will love the bike, I love my Fuel.

  14. #14
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    Thanks all - lots of things to think about. I'll have to see what I can get the ex 8 for. I'm capped at around $2500 but have an in (ahem) w/ a dealer so we'll see...

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    2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?

    I considered both, because I set out to spend under 2000. When I did a thorough comparison, I found that the EX7 was the dividing line (IMO). The fox fork and DRCV shock are worth the higher price. Also I've been there before, where I try to save money by buying the lower price model. I've learned the error of my ways, because I always spend more in the long run upgrading components one by one. Go with the 7 at the very least. When you are spending that much money for a bike, you don't want to end up with a coil fork.

  16. #16
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    I just got my EX 7 today and took it for a ride at a local loop with a climb and descent. I came from a hardtail so I was not only looking for the ride quality but how it handled on corners and small trail-jumps. Wow. It's amazing. The fox suspension reallllly makes a big diff. I came from a front spring suntour fork and the Float 32 Air is tits. I flew up the climbs way faster and had a lot of confidence coming down. Still getting used to the 29 wheels (I came from a 26) but just all in all a great ride. My advice is to spring for the EX 7. Just as a note - I got mine at my local LBS - who is a Trek dealer, for a little over $2,100 before tax. I'm in California. Tax is high as **** here. I'm sure you can get a good deal at your LBS . I'm sure by the time you read this you'd have already gotten one of them. Hope ya got the EX 7
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2014 Fuel EX 7 vs EX 5?-image.jpg  


  17. #17
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    If budget will allow get the 7. Actually even if you have to save a little more up get 7.

    The 7 starts to get into a real quality bike. The fox shock is way better than XC32, if the 5 came with a Reba I'd say go for it.

    Also 7 comes with tubless ready wheels which is the ONLY way to go, less flats better ride and lighter. The componets are pretty decent shimano stuff.

    7 is just a better deal, I think if you go with the 5 you'll wish you would've got the 7.

  18. #18
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    I fell into the trap and bought a 5. A great bike, but the fork let's it down in the rough stuff.

    I ended up changing mine about 2 months in to a revelation rct 3 - it brought the bike to life (although I am struggling to find a setup I really like).

    I added some hope hoops and went tubeless to finish.

    The difference is night and day. I do wish I went for the 7 (they didn't have them on stock at the time so I can't feel too bad).
    2014 Trek Fuel Ex 5 29er
    2014 Trek Superfly 6
    2014 Trek X-Caliber 5 (for sale)
    2014 Scott Aspect 740 (650b)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc2211 View Post
    I fell into the trap and bought a 5. A great bike, but the fork let's it down in the rough stuff.

    I ended up changing mine about 2 months in to a revelation rct 3 - it brought the bike to life (although I am struggling to find a setup I really like).

    I added some hope hoops and went tubeless to finish.

    The difference is night and day. I do wish I went for the 7 (they didn't have them on stock at the time so I can't feel too bad).
    Go to the Trek website and use their suspension setup calculator for the rear shock - Suspension setup - Trek Bicycle

    does wonders

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sroc3 View Post
    Go to the Trek website and use their suspension setup calculator for the rear shock - Suspension setup - Trek Bicycle

    does wonders
    Thanks sroc3. Newbie question...within the calculator, adjusting rebound the calculator says "7 clicks out"...is this seven clicks from when the rebound dial is set all the way to negative [-] or positive [+]? I would assume negative....right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bear99 View Post
    Thanks sroc3. Newbie question...within the calculator, adjusting rebound the calculator says "7 clicks out"...is this seven clicks from when the rebound dial is set all the way to negative [-] or positive [+]? I would assume negative....right?
    correct - from negative. Then select a piece of trail that is short and has enough undulations to get a good feel for the "bounce". Then do several runs down the same section and adjust the rebound accordingly. You want it to be as smooth as possible with the least amount of "hammering" feeling.

  22. #22
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    As far as pricing goes, it's only $150 difference right now at Jax Bikes to get the EX7 over the EX5 and you get $100 in store credit to use for whatever you want. I had my EX7 for a week and when I got the email that the EX8 was on sale for only $200 more, I went and asked if I could upgrade and they said yes. Clearly try and support your LBS, but there are a lot of good deals out there right now that will let you skip the EX5 and jump to a 7 or 8 for what you were going to spend just a week ago not on sale. 722ish is right on the mark, great post.

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